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Phulchoki Mountain, the highest peak on the rim of the Kathmandu Valley, lies 16 km southeast of Kathmandu. The mountain mainly comprises limestone and low-grade metamorphic marble. Phulchoki receives high rainfall and supports a luxuriant growth of subtropical broadleaved Schima wallichii and Castanopsis indica forests on the lower slopes, with Quercus lamellosa and Q. lanata mixed with Rhododendron arboreum and small bamboo patches higher up, and Quercus semecarpifolia and a little bamboo at the highest elevations. There is a marble quarry on the lower slopes.
The high total of 288 species has been recorded on Phulchoki (Inskipp 1989a, Inskipp 1993, Lama 1994, 1995, Baral 1995, Giri and Choudhary 1996, Choudhary 1996a, Giri and Choudhary 2000a, 2001a, 2004a, H. S. Baral pers. obs.). Phulchoki is important for the restricted-range species Spiny Babbler and Hoary-throated Barwing. There are large areas of broadleaved temperate forests that are known to support significant populations of characteristic species of the Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest biome. Although partly degraded, Phulchoki’s broadleaved subtropical moist forests still hold good populations of characteristic species of the Sino-Himalayan Subtropical Forest biome.
Non-bird biodiversity: Phulchoki's forests are internationally renowned for their other wildlife. Martens (1979) stated that 'Numerous animal species, especially insects and Arachnida hitherto unknown to science have been discovered here in recent years'. Phulchoki supports a rich variety of butterflies, including the rare Golden Emperor Dilipa morgiana and Kaiser-I-Hind Teinopalpus imperialis (Limbu and Gurung 1998). Ghimre (1984-1985) advocated their protection for their botanical importance alone. Mainly smaller mammals occur, for example Indian Muntjac Muntiacus muntjak, Yellow-throated Marten Martes flavigula, Orange-bellied Squirrel Dremomys lokriah and the Leopard Panthera pardus, which is rare.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Phulchoki Mountain forests. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/04/2021.